Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-11-2015, 18:59   #16
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
You might want to check out a couple of cool maps. This one is currents in the area:

earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions

And this one is winds:

earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions

My recollection is that we did one passage very close to the Cuban shore, but didn't find much current relief (and around 1 knot average would be typical). Another trip actually visited the Yucatan on the way south, so along that coast. The current is annoying, but with a generally favorable wind not too bad. Not the easiest passage, not the toughest.
Those are VERY COOL maps! So, I probably want to stay on the east fringes of that swirling current in the GOM, and since I want to have some Cuban encounters, I'll stay close to Cabo de San Antonio, then tuck south along southern Cuba and Archipielago de los Canarreos and on down to the Caymans from there. I don't mind the challenging passage--my skipper has sailed it quite a bit. Besides, the challenge makes for good storytelling. Thank you so much for responding!
__________________

__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 19:01   #17
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,457
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

G'Day JB, and welcome back!

Being a Pacific side sailot, I can't help with route specifics, but a couple of points I can make:

First, PLEASE don't use "knots per hour". That is a sure sign of land-lubberlyness, for a knot is a velocity of one nautical mile per hour in normal modern usage, so that the 'per hour" is either redundant or nonsensical.

Second, while a vessel such as you are positing can achieve speeds of 7 to 10 knots, it takes pretty good (read unusual) conditions to maintain such speeds over the whole of a passage. For oceanic passages we plan on averaging around 160 miles per day for tradewind routes, a bit more if the wind is f/c to be strong, and more like 130-150 mpd if in variable conditions or upwind (and our boat is arguably a bit faster than the one you propose). The currents can either add or subtract substantially to those numbers, and in many parts of the world, the currents are quite variable and difficult to forecast... I guess that as a writer you could use such things to aid your plot in places!

Third, watch schedules vary considerably from boat to boat. Ann and I have for years used the six on, six off routine successfully. Other long term cruisers are aghast with that idea, and use shorter periods. Some use quite complicated schemes, with varying periods and "dog" watches that rotate the time of day each individual is on deck. So here, you can reasonably make up whatever schedule suits your plot line and no one can bitch about it!

Again I compliment you on the research that you are doing... keep it up and I might even buy your book!

Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2015, 19:19   #18
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day JB, and welcome back!

Being a Pacific side sailot, I can't help with route specifics, but a couple of points I can make:

First, PLEASE don't use "knots per hour". That is a sure sign of land-lubberlyness, for a knot is a velocity of one nautical mile per hour in normal modern usage, so that the 'per hour" is either redundant or nonsensical.

Second, while a vessel such as you are positing can achieve speeds of 7 to 10 knots, it takes pretty good (read unusual) conditions to maintain such speeds over the whole of a passage. For oceanic passages we plan on averaging around 160 miles per day for tradewind routes, a bit more if the wind is f/c to be strong, and more like 130-150 mpd if in variable conditions or upwind (and our boat is arguably a bit faster than the one you propose). The currents can either add or subtract substantially to those numbers, and in many parts of the world, the currents are quite variable and difficult to forecast... I guess that as a writer you could use such things to aid your plot in places!

Third, watch schedules vary considerably from boat to boat. Ann and I have for years used the six on, six off routine successfully. Other long term cruisers are aghast with that idea, and use shorter periods. Some use quite complicated schemes, with varying periods and "dog" watches that rotate the time of day each individual is on deck. So here, you can reasonably make up whatever schedule suits your plot line and no one can bitch about it!

Again I compliment you on the research that you are doing... keep it up and I might even buy your book!

Jim
Hello Jim--good to see you here! I'm a bit embarassed about the knots per hour bit--I tried to go back and edit it, but couldn't. Doesn't really matter, it's not necessarily a bad thing that anyone who reads this thread understands that I need a lot of help!

I'm not certain just how much detail and explanation I will go into, but I do want to be realistic regarding where they would be after a certain amount of time at sea. It's helpful to know about the currents and where the voyage might slow down. I'm learning a bit more with every post that is contributed.

I've really bitten off a chunk with this story, but I'm in too deep to turn back now--so, I just keep asking questions and plug along! Thanks for the encouragement!
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 09:07   #19
Registered User
 
anacapaisland42's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Boat: Challenger 32 1974
Posts: 292
Images: 3
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

I like two on deck at all times:
1 has the helm
1 is sleeping but available

3rd is below sleeping.

I take the night shift with 2 hour sleep (power nap) break being relieved by deck sleeper for that period.

I think it's safer and gives 2 sets of eyes on deck at bad times.

Bill



Quote:
Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
Search "watch system for crew of three" and you should get some idea of how sailing 24/7 works. Some skippers set a very rigid schedule and some work with the crews strengths and weaknesses. My friend that I've crewed for the most is up every morning before 5 am no matter what. I'm happy staying up until about 0430 when I become basically useless. So I always get the 2200-0400 shift and he always takes the 0400-1000 watch. His wife fills in and is WAY better at cooking than either of us so that shortens her watch responsibilities. Many people like shorter watches than that but it works for us.

I'm aware of one commercial tow boat operation that does a set 6 hours on 6 hours off rotation.
__________________
anacapaisland42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:08   #20
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,149
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBChicoine View Post
Am I correct in estimating an average speed of 7knots per hour
Please, please, just say "knots". 1 knot is 1 nautical mile per hour. Hence "knots per hour" would be "nautical miles per hour per hour". I encourage you to have someone proof read your work for sailing terminology. Nothing ruins a good yarn like that sort of mistake. For example, do they sleep downstairs? Do they pull on ropes?

Conversely, don't dumb it down. Feel free to use the sailing lingo... fairlead, halyard, spring, sheet, below, weather helm, gangway, sole, etc...all adds to the flavour of the story.

Also, with 3 aboard, sailing offshore, they will barely see each other after the first day...one on watch, the others sleeping most of the time. Especially if they steer by hand, like they did in 1984...its exhausting.
__________________
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:20   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WY / Currently in Hayes VA on the Chesapeake
Boat: Ocean Alexander, Ocean 44
Posts: 922
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Most cruisers have autopilots (and/or wind vane steering systems) these days so standing watch is monitoring course, weather, sail trim and watching for traffic and stuff in the water that you would not want to hit. If the autopilot fails it increases work load and fatigue.

I don't have my charts with me and I can't remember the name but... Just south of a straight line between the W. tip of Cuba and Isla Mujeres (an island by Cancun) there is a shallower bank that causes the waves to get steeper and closer together and is a known spot where the ride will be less comfortable. (There is also good fishing there.)

Most ship traffic in the Gulf will pass through the Straights of FL and go to: Houston or New Orleans. Some will go to Mobile or other smaller ports. There are also a lot of oil rigs in the GOM. The point being that your crew will experience a lot of traffic leaving NO and at some point they will cross the line the between the Straights of FL and Houston. There is some big ship traffic between Cuba and Cancun but not much. Except when one of the traffic lanes I don't think I averaged more than one a day. One issue that I noted was that the freighters had some many bright lights on the deck that it was difficult (indeed impossible) see their running lights so without AIS it often takes quite a while to determine their direction and our crossing point.
__________________
darylat8750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:23   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 41
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

This is a really cool thread. I've always wondered about the research that went into writing a book with such authentic details. Seems like a ton of work but something that you could throw yourself into 110%. Congrats and I hope to come across your book one day and see what you take from this post! haha! Best to you and everyone who so kindly offered up info.
__________________
GreenIssue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:25   #23
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Pacific
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,451
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Oh, come on, nautical miles per hour per hour is a fine unit of measure, of acceleration

starting at a speed of zero knots, at an acceleration of 7 knots per hour, after one hour your speed would be 7 knots, after 2 hours 14 knots, after 4 hours 28 knots, and before the day is out you're in the Caymans. Personally, I wish I had a boat that was capable of 7 knots per hour
__________________
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 10:56   #24
Registered User
 
caradow's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Connecticut/Caribbean
Boat: Voyage 440 Owners Version
Posts: 472
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

I guess it doesn't really matter because you are writing fiction however could not help but notice your Port of Registry is Cayman Brac. If that is where your boat will be based just be aware there is no protected harbor there for your type of boat. You will be anchored out all the time......but I guess that is not important since again this is fiction. Just ask the previous owners of the infamous Teignmouth Electron what happens to boats there in bad weather.
Also I do hope your novel will be more realistic than "All Is Lost".
I do wish you much success in your endeavor.
__________________
caradow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:04   #25
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Please, please, just say "knots". 1 knot is 1 nautical mile per hour. Hence "knots per hour" would be "nautical miles per hour per hour". I encourage you to have someone proof read your work for sailing terminology. Nothing ruins a good yarn like that sort of mistake. For example, do they sleep downstairs? Do they pull on ropes?

Conversely, don't dumb it down. Feel free to use the sailing lingo... fairlead, halyard, spring, sheet, below, weather helm, gangway, sole, etc...all adds to the flavour of the story.

Also, with 3 aboard, sailing offshore, they will barely see each other after the first day...one on watch, the others sleeping most of the time. Especially if they steer by hand, like they did in 1984...its exhausting.
My biggest anxiety with writing this story is making those stupid mistakes, like knots per hour! Ha! That's why I'm on this forum asking questions . I really appreciate any kind of help, so thanks for pointing that out.

I wrote and published another novel with a nautical theme, but it is more about boat building than sailing, and those bits of sailing I included were on a small catboat tooling around off the coast of Maine, that and short scenes where I shipwreck two lovely vessels. But this is an entirely different sort of challenge. In my favor is that this is largely a character-driven story, not action driven. But I know how important the action details are.

Fortunately, I have a writing buddy who was also an Olympic Snipe sailor, and she will no doubt correct a lot of my slip ups, but I don't want to be lazy and hand her an unpolished heap!

Thanks so much for your input!
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:09   #26
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
Most cruisers have autopilots (and/or wind vane steering systems) these days so standing watch is monitoring course, weather, sail trim and watching for traffic and stuff in the water that you would not want to hit. If the autopilot fails it increases work load and fatigue.

I don't have my charts with me and I can't remember the name but... Just south of a straight line between the W. tip of Cuba and Isla Mujeres (an island by Cancun) there is a shallower bank that causes the waves to get steeper and closer together and is a known spot where the ride will be less comfortable. (There is also good fishing there.)

Most ship traffic in the Gulf will pass through the Straights of FL and go to: Houston or New Orleans. Some will go to Mobile or other smaller ports. There are also a lot of oil rigs in the GOM. The point being that your crew will experience a lot of traffic leaving NO and at some point they will cross the line the between the Straights of FL and Houston. There is some big ship traffic between Cuba and Cancun but not much. Except when one of the traffic lanes I don't think I averaged more than one a day. One issue that I noted was that the freighters had some many bright lights on the deck that it was difficult (indeed impossible) see their running lights so without AIS it often takes quite a while to determine their direction and our crossing point.
Thanks for those navigation tips--this is exactly what I need! Do you know what kind of auto pilot navigation equipment was available in 1984?
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:14   #27
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenIssue View Post
This is a really cool thread. I've always wondered about the research that went into writing a book with such authentic details. Seems like a ton of work but something that you could throw yourself into 110%. Congrats and I hope to come across your book one day and see what you take from this post! haha! Best to you and everyone who so kindly offered up info.
Thanks for the encouraging comment! This, for me, is the most time consuming (and in some ways, the most fun) part of writing a novel. I could fill a hundred-page volume with the information I gather, and only include a few paragraphs in the actual writing, but it's all the background facts that hopefully give the story credibility. I'm really looking forward to getting back to the actual writing!
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:15   #28
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Oh, come on, nautical miles per hour per hour is a fine unit of measure, of acceleration

starting at a speed of zero knots, at an acceleration of 7 knots per hour, after one hour your speed would be 7 knots, after 2 hours 14 knots, after 4 hours 28 knots, and before the day is out you're in the Caymans. Personally, I wish I had a boat that was capable of 7 knots per hour
I think I'm going to have a hard time living this one down!
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:21   #29
Registered User
 
JBChicoine's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Michigan for the time being
Boat: Bock, 14'
Posts: 105
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
I guess it doesn't really matter because you are writing fiction however could not help but notice your Port of Registry is Cayman Brac. If that is where your boat will be based just be aware there is no protected harbor there for your type of boat. You will be anchored out all the time......but I guess that is not important since again this is fiction. Just ask the previous owners of the infamous Teignmouth Electron what happens to boats there in bad weather.
Also I do hope your novel will be more realistic than "All Is Lost".
I do wish you much success in your endeavor.
Thank you so much for bringing that up! I was debating on the port of registry, either Cayman Brac (where the skipper's family who owns the boat lives), or George Town on Grand Cayman. Perhaps I ought to change it--the boat can still anchor offshore when hanging out with the family, but keep it safely moored in George Town most of the time. That might actually work better for my plot, too. Thanks again.
__________________
I'm unsupervised & at large while trying to write...
JBChicoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2015, 12:33   #30
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,149
Re: Need NOLA to Caymans Advice for a Work of Fiction

Sailing has changed a lot since 1984. There were no chartplotters, no GPS, no autohelm, no LED lights, no cell phones, no sat phones, no internet, no world wide web, no passageweather.com. How did we survive? I don't think I ever saw a solar panel or wind generator back then. Ahhh...simpler times.

My recollection of sailing back then was navigation...constantly taking fixes, LOP, transits, EP, and the never ending dead reckoning position. We used a shadow pin, polaris, RDF, a taff rail log, and took dutchmans for speed. My station pointers, parallel rulers and dividers were in constant use. If I wanted to know the depth, I swung a lead line. Back then we would know the name of every point of land, every shoal. My favorite was to "double the angle off the bow" to get a fix, when there weren't enough points for a 3 point fix. We would take an "azimuth" of the sun and compare to its shadow to calculate compass error. Every day at sunset I'd get an amplitude, which is an easy azimuth, again to find the compass error. We were always calculating compass error since our compass was so important both in finding our position, and directing us. A few degrees out could spell disaster over a long enough distance.

Being on watch in 1984 was a busy time. Now, with chartplotters, there's nothing to do but watch the waves go by.
__________________

__________________
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need a Sailboat for a Work of Fiction JBChicoine Monohull Sailboats 62 10-11-2015 14:10
Looking for charter from NOLA to PLAYA DEL ASAP?!!! Saltlifejay Atlantic & the Caribbean 21 19-08-2015 11:11
Crew Wanted: UPDATE: Tampa to NOLA bbbbbguy Crew Archives 2 15-05-2013 07:08
From NOLA to Trinidad Preposterous Atlantic & the Caribbean 22 17-08-2010 20:31
Hello from NOLA southsail Meets & Greets 5 07-10-2009 16:42



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:45.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.